Sensex, Nifty End Over 3% Lower As Rising Covid Cases Stoke Lockdown Fears


Indian equity benchmarks suffered their worst single-day fall since February 26 as rising Coronavirus cases in the country stoked fears of lockdowns. The Sensex dropped as much as 1,811 points or 3.65 per cent to hit an intraday low of 47,780 and Nifty 50 index tumbled below its important psychological level of 14,300 at the day’s lowest level. All but four shares in the Nifty 50 basket ended with a negative bias.

The Sensex crashed 1,708 points or 3.44 per cent to close at 47,883.38 and Nifty 50 index dropped 524 points or 3.53 per cent to end at 14,311.

India reported a record daily tally of 168,912 COVID-19 infections on Monday, the world’s highest, while worries grew over a further spike.

India now accounts for one in every six daily infections worldwide. Monday’s new cases carried it past Brazil, for an overall tally of 13.53 million, data compiled by Reuters shows, placing it second after the United States, with 31.2 million.

Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state with 63,294 new cases and 349 deaths in the last 24 hours. The state government is likely to take a call on announcing a complete lockdown in the state this week.

Relentless surge in coronavirus cases is threatening to derail a recovery in Asia’s third-largest economy.

All the 11 sector gauges ended lower led by the Nifty PSU Bank index’s 9 per cent fall. Nifty Metal, Bank, Auto, Financial Services, FMCG, IT and Media indexes also fell between 2-7.5 per cent.

Mid- and small-cap shares also witnessed selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indices declined over 5 per cent each.

Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Bajaj Finance, State Bank of India and Axis Bank were among the top drags on the Sensex.

Tata Motors was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 10 per cent to close at Rs 287. Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, UPL, State Bank of India, Hindalco, ONGC, Mahindra & Mahindra, Titan, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Shree Cements also fell in range of 5-9 per cent.

On the flipside, Dr Reddy’s labs climbed 7 per cent to close at Rs 5,098 after reports suggested that the government approved use of Russian Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use. Dr Reddy’s Labs has right to produce the vaccine.

Cipla, Divi’s Labs and Britannia Industries were also among the notable gainers.

The overall market breadth was extremely bearish as 2,477 shares closed lower while 510 shares closed higher on the BSE.

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